The 21st century.
A century that, so far, has given us the most ridiculous leaps in technology. A century that has given us Harry Potter. The same century that gave the United States its first black President. And at the same time showed us a glimpse of how deep financial greed could dig. A century that is currently showing us that climate change is a bitch. But regrettably, it is also a time when it’s almost become very acceptable for the girls to become men, and for the men to become women.
Quite frankly, I’ve always believed women were always the smarter of both sexes. Sometimes, I’m even shocked that we men have been able to suppress and reduce the role of women to just house-carers and child bearers for so long. I guess in a strange way, Brawn beats Brain. But with the dawn of this century, that has changed drastically. Women have become empowered, as they should have been from the very beginning of our species. But women becoming empowered and fully realizing their status as equals should not, in any way, threaten a man’s pride or confidence in his role as leader, provider and protector. Only a man with an inferiority complex would feel threatened by his well-to-do wife or girlfriend.
I understand that being ‘progressive’ today is mostly about challenging a lot of the ideas, beliefs and practices of old. Ideas that we believe do not really have a place in the rapidly changing mentalities and societies we live in today. Feminism, sexual freedom and secularism are gaining grounds today. And that is good. But the fact that we are challenging of most old/traditional concepts raises a serious question. Where does it end? Where do we draw the line? (I know I raised two questions instead of one but I digress).
For example, I believe every man or woman has a right to love whoever they want. We are talking about two or more intelligent, consenting adults making a decision that personally affects only them. Why should it be your business or mine? But then – the acknowledgment of various sexual preferences (being straight, gay or bisexual) has indirectly given rise to ‘gender preference’. This has brought up some words which I am still trying to fully understand. Terms like ‘agender’, ‘pangender‘, ‘trigender‘, ‘gender-fluid‘ etc. keep getting thrown at me left, right and center. I have watched several videos and read about these new gender niches in an attempt to better understand them. But in the end, it feels to me that these terms are more ideological and political. And not biological in the least sense. Maybe I need an expert to truly help me understand. Am I missing something? Call me whatever but I think this idea of 21st century forward thinking is fast becoming exaggerated and abused in many cases.
So what now, man??
Glad you asked. So my problem now is that such ‘forward’ thinking, as well as so much access to ‘luxury’, is also now affecting how people view manhood today. I think a lot of people confuse bravado with being a man. And a lot more think it is okay for men to break down their walls and be sensitive. Being sensitive is perfectly fine. It is a quality that I believe every one of us should have. Being delicate on the other hand, is a problem. And I think people ought to make the difference between being sensitive and being delicate.
Ps. By luxury, I’m referring to just about any item, device or circumstance that makes our lives far easier than it would have been previously.
An example. Today, especially in Europe and other developed countries, I have observed that many fit men are okay living with a complete lack of autonomy. What I mean is that I’ve seen a good number of grown men who choose to depend on their wives or parents for their livelihood and are completely unashamed. What bothers me even more is that such behaviour is becoming particularly commonplace. Maybe it is because I was raised in a different country, with different cultural values and under different circumstances, that I think this is a problem. I am of the belief that if you were born a man, biologically speaking, then it is especially important for you to have pride in taking initiative, being self-dependent and taking on life’s challenges with little complaint.
Look. I understand that life hands us some seriously sour lemons sometimes. But I still believe that a true measure of a man’s honour lies in his pride, resolve and integrity.
That’s not half bad. Please do tell me more.🤔
As a man, physical strength is vital. But mental strength is even more vital. Mentally tough men are able to stay calm, cool, and collected when things in their life – big and small — are shitty. They don’t lose their temper or fall to pieces when faced with stress. Instead, they’re able to maintain perspective on the problem and concentrate on how best to solve it (or simply ignore it for the insignificant annoyance that it is). I still have my shortcomings (lots actually) but this is the type of man I strive to be. This aspect of the code of manhood has long been a target for critics today, who argue that suppressing the expression of one’s feelings stunts men’s emotional growth and leads to psychological and social problems.
While this is true, it is still a little misguided. As Brett McKay put it, what these critics fail to understand is that it’s not “manhood” that’s the problem, but an impoverished modern idea of manhood that’s the problem. A lot of magazines and most aspects of pop culture today focus on sex, cars, metrosexuality and six packs. Not nearly as much information is put out there on inner manly qualities and virtues. Almost everything out there is superficial and doesn’t add much value to our growth as humans. The only thing we young men today know about “Being a man” is mere bravado. Just like building muscle for display instead of practical uses. Our fathers, and their fathers before them, understood that it’s quite possible to be stoic and cultivate a rich emotional life.
Even men of old, famous for their advocacy of the “stiff upper lip,” weren’t shy about crying over sad poetry, writing highly sentimental letters to friends and lovers, and showing their male buddies a level of physical affection that would make us moderns uncomfortable. (To be honest, I still get quite uncomfortable when a grown man invades my personal space, not to talk of physical affection😅). To quote a nice passage I referenced from www.artofmanliness.com, “…Being stoic is not about suppressing one’s feelings entirely; it’s rather a matter of knowing when to turn on the toughness/pride and when to turn it off. You don’t live like a rock every day, you just have access to that firm, steady energy, should you need it.” It is okay to ask for help when you need it. It is okay to talk about your problems and feelings when they weigh down on you. It is okay to cry when when the world weighs down on you. But please, don’t make a habit of whining.
I still have a lot of growing up to do. I still have a lot to learn. But if anything, I am happy with my progress as a man thus far. Speaking from personal experience, women want equality in comparison to their male counterparts in almost every walk of life. But equality does not mean losing initiative and control when the situation calls for it. A loss of initiative will always be unattractive. To both men and women.
Be sensitive. But don’t be delicate.
Be a leader. But don’t be a bossy cunt.
Be proud. But never let it get in the way of personal development and happiness.
Seek self-development constantly. Read. Learn. Risk. But don’t seek to become better for someone else. Do it for you first.
And remember. It is always about finding Balance.
Thank you. 🙂
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